Grieve asks court for tougher slavery sentence

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ATTORNEY General Dominic Grieve will go to court tomorrow in a bid to secure a longer sentence for a Sheffield man who kept a vulnerable victim with learning difficulties as a modern-day slave.

Mr Grieve will argue that the six-and-a-half-year sentence imposed on David Rooke for false imprisonment and causing actual bodily harm was unduly lenient.

He will present his case at the Court of Appeal to three judges led by Lady Justice Rafferty. The call for a tougher sentence is likely to be one of only a handful made in person by Mr Grieve this year.

Rooke, from the Grenoside area of Sheffield, forced 34-year-old Craig Kinsella to live in his garage and subjected him to repeated beatings.

Mr Kinsella, who has an IQ of only 85, was made to use a bucket to go to the toilet and had to sleep on a piece of carpet. He was also forced to carry out tasks such as picking up dog mess.

Rooke, his wife Donna and son Jamie were told they were guilty of “almost unbelievable” cruelty as they were jailed for a total of nearly 11 years at Sheffield Crown Court in January.

At the beginning of last month, however, it emerged that a member of the public had filed a complaint asking the Attorney General to review Rooke’s sentence.

It has also emerged that the Crown Prosecution Service and South Yorkshire Police had different views on how the case should be handled. The CPS claimed the case should have been dealt with as a disability hate crime, which can be viewed by judges as an aggravating factor.

South Yorkshire Police said that, although the victim was extremely vulnerable, there was no evidence he suffered from a disability.